Wednesday, December 5

where are they now? revisiting past projects...

I thought it might be fun to take a look at some past projects and see what they've been up to lately. First up - Monkey Socks. I swear, when I knit these no one else had done them yet. I had the hardest time finding any FO's on the web to look at, and at that time Ravelry didn't exist for me.

I like these socks. the color is fabulous but I think they should have been knit on #1's not #2's. they're a bit saggy and baggy and you can see that we have some yarn breakage. i liked the KPPPM - but haven't really wanted to go out and buy more based on the performance from this sock.
Sock Monkey
- yes, it's supposed to be a bear but somewhere along the way this got named 'sock monkey'. the pattern is from Jess Hutch's book of knitted toys which is apparently out-of-print and highly coveted. I'm glad I have a copy as my son loves this monkey. it gets loads of love and cuddles all the time and is close to becoming 'real' a la the velveteen rabbit.
It's made with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes which has held up really well, just a little bit of pilling. The eyes don't work so well. I got the kind suggested, but think that my knitting was a bit loose and they push in all the time which has led to some panic on the part of a little boy.

Friday, November 30

peep peep

This little guy will be my mascot at the upcoming craft shows. My logo includes a cute little duck, but this fellow is a little bit more 'natural' than the traditional rubber duck. Only, he wouldn't be a very good bathtime friend.

Pattern: Easter Peeps by Kat Knits (free on her blog)
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton in yellow
Needles: #4 dpns

Notes: a quick, easy and fun knit. I changed the bind off on the wings to get a more feathered effect. Next time I knit this I will fill the base with some beans or something to give it more stability for sitting. K has quickly decided that I made this for him, so I had to discretely steal it back this morning to get photos and grab it for the show tomorrow.

Thursday, November 22

center square hat for a toddler

Pattern: Center Square from Knitty
Yarn: Main color is Mountain Colors Sweet Grass Wool 2 ply in Missouri River Blue. Contrasting color is Araucania Nature Wool Bulky
Needles: #9
Notes: I used one strand of the Mountain colors and used the Nature wool doubled. I knit this on smaller needles than called for so it would fit the little guy.

Tuesday, November 13

Jaywalker Socks Finished

Pattern: Jaywalker Socks
Needles: #1 Susan Bates metal dpns
Size: to fit my size 9 feet
Yarn: Socks That Rock Lightweight in Fire on the Mountain Colorway - almost one full skein
Notes: nearly everyone who knits socks has already knit this pattern, and I see why. It's simple, looks interesting, works well with all the nifty varigated yarns out there and it just fits well. This pattern is easy enough for a beginning knitter, but interesting enough for anyone.

Thursday, November 8

Queen City Craft Bazaar

I'm so excited that I'm going to be part of the Queen City Craft Bazaar on December 1 in Burlington. I'm busy finishing up all my soaps and things to have a great table. Hope to see you there.

Monday, October 29

Knitted Bunting: a pattern

I'm planning to participate in several craft shows this holiday season including the Queen City Craft Bazaar which is much cooler and more indie than anything I've done in the past. It threw me into a spin trying to think of how to make my table space cooler and more indie and I decided that I needed to have a knitted sign. I've seen a lot of sewn bunting out there and thought that a knitted bunting would be tres cool. so here we are...

Worsted weight yarn (I used Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton in three colors)
size 7 16" circular needle
size 6 double pointed needles
tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Cast on 25 stitches with larger needles
knit two rows plain
Begin Stockingette stitch pattern:
Knit 2 stitches, purl 21 stitches, knit final two stitches. This row and every other row (the purl rows) - Knit the first and last two stitches so the edge is in garter stitch.
Next row: knit all stitches
Next row: K2,P21, K2
Begin decreasing:
Row 1: K2, SSK, K until last four stitches, K2Tog, K2
Row 2: K2, purl to last two stitches, K2
Row 3: K all stitches
Row 4: K2, purl to last two stitches, K2

repeat rows 1-4 until there are three stitches between garter stitch sections. end with Row 4.
K2, Slip 1 knitwise, K2tog, PSSO, K2
K2, purl 1, K2
K all
K2, purl 1, K2

K1, Slip 1 knitwise, K2tog, PSSO, K1
next three rows, K all stitches

Slip 1 knitwise, K2tog, PSSO

Knit as many flags as you need. Embellish with duplicate stitch as is your preference. My letters are about 17 stitches high. They start 5 stitches from the top of the flag and the serif reaches to the garter stitches on the sides.

To join the flags.
Cast on three stitches to your smaller dpns and knit icord for 8 to 10 inches.
Then begin applied i cord (there's an excellent write up on this technique at the Keyboard Biologist) Knit 1 stitch, kfb, slip one knitwise, pick up and knit first stitch of flag, pass slipped stith over. slide work to end of right hand dpn and repeat until you've reached the end of that flag.

K1, K2tog, K1 and continue to knit i cord for five more rows. Begin next flag. repeat until all flags are hung and finish with an appropriate amount of icord.

Tuesday, October 23

knitting on the road

This past weekend found us on the road to visit with my folks in PA. As it's a seven hour drive and I knew that this time I wouldn't be the principle driver, I brought what I thought was a considerable amount of knitting to bide the time.
My 'so cool it's still secret' project and the second sock of the jaywalker series are what's filling the French Market Bag. Should have been plenty to keep me busy, but i was so productive that I ran out of yarn for the secret project by the end of the journey down. AND THEN, I discovered that despite repeated preparations I had forgotten the sock dpns. and there are no yarn or craft stores within Sunday panic distance from my folks.

so for the entire ride back to VT, I basically had to sit on my hands. what do you do in a car if you can't knit?

Wednesday, October 17

A Swiffer Cozy for Penelope

This was a quick knit on a request for a friend. It's headed down to Mexico where a swiffer is much loved, but replacement pads are hard to come by. I hope that she'll enjoy using it as much as we enjoy ours.
As I finished weaving in the ends last night, my husband asked where his new swiffer cozy is. You see, he wants one with the fancy adjustable tabs (three sets of button holes this time). I'll be happy to make him one.

Details: My own swiffer cozy pattern
Yarn: Blue Sky Dyed Cotton and miscellaneous superwash wool
Needles: size 7 addi turbo circs
Mods: added extra button holes

Sunday, October 14

Republic Hat

We went from 80 degree days to 40 degrees days almost overnight. hardly any transition at all. So, I've been thinking about knitting hats. Quick and simple and great stash busters. I've got lots of yarn leftover from the cardigan that I just finished and it seemed to fit the gauge for this Republic Hat - so here it is.

it actually came out far too big and baggy. so i threw it in the washing machine on hot with the towels. still too big. so it went in the dryer and this is a pretty good size. the circumference is still a little wide, but it will work. I like how felting it made the fabric a little more dense, better for the winter.

Tuesday, October 9

Fitted Knits - Short Sleeved Cardigan With Ribbing

Pattern: From Fitted Knits - Short Sleeved Cardigan with Ribbing
Yarn: RYC Soft Tweed in Twig
Needles: 10.5, 9 and 8

Mods: I added an extra 1-1.5 inches in the body before the ribbing, then I accidently made the bands before the ribbing extra wide, then I knitted the ribbing until the sweater reached my hip bones (I'm a long torso type). The body ribbing was knitted on 9's instead of 8's because I couldn't find the 8 circs that I know I have somewhere. The sleeve ribbing was knitted on 8's. I made the ribbing on the sleeves a lot longer than was called for in the pattern.

I've read some complaints about this pattern but no complaints from me. I checked the errata, measured myself (38 bust) and knit the size 36 bust version. It knitted up quickly and cleanly, and looks beautiful. I'm very happy with this finished object.

Saturday, September 29

Swiffer Cozy Pattern

Here is the long awaited pattern for my Swiffer Cozy, winner of an honorable mention in the Whiplash Competition Color theme.

The ballband pattern is a classic dishcloth pattern printed on the back of Peaches & Creme worsted weight cotton yarn. It's been popularized by the 2006 book Mason-Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne. This swiffer cover was directly inspired by Mason Dixon and their use of color and levity for ordinary household items like dishclothes.

For the swiffer cover, I recommend a superwash wool. You can use cotton, but I find that the cotton tends to get a little tacky on the floor, while the wool glides right over. My wool cozy has held up much better than the organic cotton version, and is my favorite for swiffering.

  • worsted weight machine washable wool or cotton yarn, assorted colors, this doesn't use a lot of yarn so it's a great way to use up leftovers or stash yarns.
  • #7 16" circular needles
  • 4 buttons
  • needle for sewing in ends and sewing on buttons
Gauge: 18 sts and 32 rows = 4"


Cast on and follow the pattern for ballband dishcloth. You have a copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting, right? Or get the pattern off the label of a ball of Peaches & Creme. It also can be found here under Textured Slip Stitch.

Knit rows 1-12 a total of three times. You should have 6 bands of the pattern and that's just enough to cover the base of your swiffer.

Knit one row
Purl one row
knit one row

start tabs:
change color if you'd like. knit 15 stitches. bind off next 15 sts. knit 15.

work these 15 sts in garter stitch for 16 rows.

buttonhole row:
Knit 3 sts. K2tog, yo,k 5, K2tog, yo, knit 3 sts.

knit three rows and bind off those 15 sts.

there should still be 15 sts on your needle for the other tab. work 16 rows in garter stitch. repeat buttonhole row instructions. knit three rows and bind off.

For the other two tabs: pick up 15 sts from right side. work 19 rows of garter stitch and bind off.

pick up 15 sts from left side. work 19 rows of garter stitch and bind off.

try it on your swiffer and note where the buttons need to be sewn onto the tabs.
Sew on buttons and swiffer away!

the business of soap

in my spare time, when i'm not working my real full-time job and when i'm not helping out with Bike29 and Five Hills Bikes and when i'm not attempting to be a good mother or futilely cleaning the house, i have a soap and lotion business called Hug-a-dub-dub.

I got started making soaps and lotions when i was trying to find ways to deal with my friend, the eczema, and discovered that i really liked it. It shouldn't have come as a surprise. As a kid, I can remember fondling the homemade soaps in gift shops at historic sorts of places like Williamsburg. I bought a bar, and brought it home and just smelled it over and over. and it was unscented.

for myself, i enjoy the smell of the soap itself. scents don't strike my fancy that much, but just plain soap is the best thing ever.

life has been pretty crazy since we started the bike business and i needed to take some time away from all my commitments. so i did almost nothing with the soap biz all summer long. only what i had to in order to maintain my wholesale relationship and my best and longstanding customers.

but i missed it. and am happy to say that i've been making soap like mad. trying to be prepared to do craft shows and holiday orders, like no one elses business.

Sunday, September 16

one jaywalker done

here's a sneak peak at a future FO. Jaywalker sock in Socks the Rock Fire on the Mountain colorway. Done on size 1 needles. This is one BRIGHT sock. but i like how the stitch pattern compliments the varigated yarn.
The material is nice and dense and the fit on these is just perfect, or maybe a smidge too big.
look how the yarn patterned on the slip-stitch heel. I like that a lot.

Saturday, September 8

birthday and sheep and wool festival

Monday is my 32nd birthday. I'm traveling for work tomorrow and will be in San Diego on my birthday. It's not all bad, we have some great friends there and I'll have a birthday celebration the day afterwards. We just did the husbands birthday two weeks ago and had a babysitter for a really nice dinner out and then a party with all of our friends -- so that means that my birthday celebrations will be pretty non-existant (except for the yummy cake that i'm baking.)
so that's why, when I pulled this sweet little package out of the mail box, I was so happy. One of my running dingo friends sent me these two gorgeous balls of Noro Silk Garden. So lovely, so thoughtful. Thanks Monica, you made my birthday!

The VT sheep and wool festival is this weekend. K and I needed something to do so we drove out to the fairgrounds to spy some sheep and alpacas.
I bought one skein of sock yarn. The vendor is Ball and Skein and her hand-dyed yarns were gorgeous. absolutely gorgeous. this is the one that i got, but I almost picked out the black cherry or the comet or the mountain spring.

If you want to control your purchasing at an event like this, by all means bring a three year old. I guarantee that you will not purchase anywhere near the amount of things that you might otherwise. there were some good looking naturally dyed yarns that i wanted to look at and i had hoped to pick up some wooden dps to replace the Susan Bates that i currently have for socks. but alas. one skein of sock yarn is all i brought home.

Wednesday, September 5

super-natural stripes baby cardigan

I had a little vacation from everyday life last week. I took the week off of my out-of-home job and tried to do as little work as possible on the other businesses in my life. The goal was to just rest my brain for a week in hopes that I could come back with more creativity, energy and power to get things done.

One of the things I did was to make this:into this:
Pattern: Super-natural stripes cardigan
Yarn: Blue Sky Cotton in organic and dyed
Needles: #7s and #5s and some #6 dps because i couldn't find the #5 dpns
Mods: I didn't use all organic and I did two buttons instead of one, but otherwise it's true to the pattern.
Comments: I forget who linked to her blog, but f.pea has some of the cutest free patterns out there. As soon as I saw it, I knew that this cardigan would make a great baby gift and I had several colors of the Blue Sky Cotton in my stash (it's one of those yarns thats very handy to keep around.)

The pattern was a simple, enjoyable knit and I definitely think i'll do it again. As a result of knitting this pattern, I researched how to pick up stitches and I learned how to do a single-chain crochet stitch. I love learning new things.

I'm not totally sold on the colors, but these are what I had in the stash. The organic came from a swap a few years ago and I never really found a good little project before. The colors were ones that I had, but I wish I had been bold and adventurous with the colors instead of 'typical' baby colors. oh well, it's still pretty cute.

What else is on the needles? Here is progress on Arisaig. The back has been knitted and I'm working on the right front. I don't want to jinx anything, but now that I have a feel for the lace pattern and the shaping, I think it will go faster and better.

Socks are great travel knitting. Here's the start of a pair of jaywalkers. I started this on the train ride to Boston to see last saturday's no-hitter at Fenway. These may just be my lucky socks.

Tuesday, August 28

mini socks

K and I were having the most no-good, rotten, horrible day. Fighting and arguing about everything. Nothing was making either of us happy. And then I finished the first sock of this pair, and handed it over for him to try on. He was elated and his angry words quickly became "mama, i love you for making me socks."
Pattern: On-Your-Toes socks from Interweave Knits Summer 2007
Notes: see the other socks finished two posts back.

I had just enough yarn left from my socks to make socks for the gremlin. seriously, there were about 8 inches left when all was said and done. i used their sockula (sock-formula) for these, but ended up going a bit smaller. Eight cast on stitches for the toe, increased to 48 stitches for the body equals a toddlers size 9 with enough room to grow.

I think i'll enter this in the contest over at Stash and Burn.

Saturday, August 18

Friday, August 17

Finished Toe-Up Socks

Pattern: On-Your-Toes socks from Interweave Knits Summer 2007
Yarn: A lovely wool with Aloe built right in to soothe your feet. gifted to me from a friend, and yes, I lost the label.
Needles: #2 Susan Bates metal (I think #1 would have been a better choice, but this is fine)
Mods: none really. i bound off wrong on sock #2, but i just wanted to finish something.

These things are finally done! After the #$*&% heel disaster on sock #2, i stuck these in my stash bucket until i felt ready to face the problem and do a good job. Luckily I had a business trip with several short flights. It's nearly impossible to 'work' on those short hops, but sock knitting is perfect for fidgety flying fingers. So I figured out where I went wrong with the heel and reknit the whole thing on the way to JFK. Finished the cuff between JFK and Richmond and back . very efficient.These are my first toe-up socks. I still think the cast-on is pretty fidgety and tricky, but I really like the short row heel. Now that my first try is over, I think i might be up for trying some Jaywalker socks...

Wednesday, August 8

new floors


And after. sorry i didn't style these. it's just life.
up next - the bathroom

Wednesday, August 1

Arisaig and mini-quilt progress

so, I've cast on for Arisaig. So far it's great summer knitting as the yarn is quite thin and not wooly. It's knit on #1's and #2's, so it's going to take me forever with the limited time that I have for knitting. Mainly I knit at the end of the day while watching a bit of Red Sox. If it's been a rough day, I may not even have the energy to pick up these tiny little needles. I envisioned myself knitting this at the beach cottage in Maine, never mind that this year the beach cottage may or may not happen, that's how i envision it going down.
Here is a long term WIP. A mini log cabin knitted quilt. Inspired when the Whiplash challenge over at Whip-Up was about mini quilts. I took the Mason-Dixon info, and started with my leftover sock yarn and size 2 needles. Some friends sent me additional sock yarn as I quickly ran out. This will be one of those projects that will go on forever I imagine. Possibly I'll do them like granny squares and eventually sew together.